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Remember: Cedar Beach Construction 2010: Part 2- Playground, Paved Paths, Buffers and The Great Blue Heron

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cedar Beach Construction 2010: Part 2- Playground, Paved Paths, Buffers and The Great Blue Heron

The easiest idea missing from the Master Plan for Phase One of Cedar Beach renovations is the common sense environmental decision.  That is, don’t pave with impermeable surfaces next to water bodies.  Don’t mow grass to creek edges.  Don’t do, pretty much everything that is currently being done at Cedar Beach.

Let’s start with the addition of rocky soil and hay on top of the paved area of buffer planted last October. This is not a common sense environmental decision.  This will exacerbate ecological degradation and lead to more maintenance cost in the future.

The widening holes near the large mirror pond have been filled.  

A curious mixture of grass seed has been placed haphazardly on top of soil fill in the spaces cleared to make room for the paving of paths near the mirror ponds.  This seed mixture has, in places, left a trail as it flows into Cedar Creek.  I am pleased to see the spaces filled, but I have reservations about what they have sprayed. 

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The gouging of the land and paving of the paths continue.  New mounds of loose soil and grass stand on one side of asphalt paths while the same new cliffs developed on the other side of Cedar Creek
have appeared here.
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What looks to be a new access point into Cedar Beach has been dug up and chalk outlines indicate where the new paving will connect Ott Street to the new asphalt path.

Despite this, there is beauty. Spring is still in season at Cedar Beach; they haven’t yet paved it under.

The red maples, the winterberry and many of the other plants we introduced to Cedar Beach last October have begun growing alongside Cedar Creek.
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A Great Blue Heron found refuge in the developing buffer.
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An easy beauty, but beauty nonetheless and in such contrast to the recreational bent the new construction at Cedar Beach has taken.  Still, despite the fact that this project is now beyond changing, serious environmental questions remain.  In addition to what I have documented thus far, I found the red flags which mark the beginnings of the “grow zones” quite curious.
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Next to the foot of the pedestrian bridge an area remains designated for mowing despite limiting a buffer zone to an ineffective scant amount of feet.  Here, from the base of a nearby tree to the pedestrian bridge, the entire area should be a “grow zone”.  The large lawn would remain, the view of the creek would not change dramatically.  It is this type of simple environmentally conscious decision that is so sorely lacking from the new construction at Cedar Beach.  For instance, why not expand a buffer at the location shown in the picture below at least to the distance of the “silt fence”.  It seems common sense to me.
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On the other side of Ott Street, the playground’s construction has begun.
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I couldn’t help but wonder as I wandered in Cedar Beach this weekend, about how small the park felt.  The unnatural black asphalt that now snakes through the grass feels disconcertingly out of place and truly unnatural.  If the invitation to the openness of Nature ends up being completely removed by this construction, what exactly are we attempting to get more people to visit?

The issues at Cedar Beach feel endless to me at this moment as do the problems in the Parkway, at Jordan Creek, in Trout Creek Parkway, down at Canal Park, at the East Side Reservoir, on South Mountain, in Trexler Park and so on.  Some days, these issues feel insurmountable.  Some days the presence of The Great Blue Heron, or a Red Maple leaf serve as reminders as to why they’re worth addressing.

We can’t live without them.

Labels:

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

April 18, 2010 9:29 AM
Anonymous said...
Yes, lets have every department director take all their decisions to City Council for approval, that will surely improve local government efficiency.


It isn't a bad idea considering the way department "directors" conduct community business.

April 19, 2010 at 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would prefer Council actually get involved with the planning processes. Council is supposed to sit on committees throughout the City and report back to the rest of council, I'm sure that the Parks & Recreation Department has one - when the hullabaloo about all this work at Cedar first started, Tony Philips supposedly was part of that committee, but had absolutely no clue what was happening, which indicates to me that he didn't actually attend the meetings. Based on the discussion at recent council meetings, I'd say this is still a problem.

April 19, 2010 at 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew,
This is a very well presented essay. Your photos document your concerns. Thank you for your hard work on this topic. We are interested in what you have to say.

April 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony Philips supposedly was part of that committee, but had absolutely no clue what was happening, which indicates to me that he didn't actually attend the meetings. Based on the discussion at recent council meetings, I'd say this is still a problem.

April 19, 2010 7:44 AM


Funny, you should mention Phillips. He's been silent for months.

April 19, 2010 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I was just there and I think it looks great. I can't wait for it to open." PAVE THE PLANET! ASPHALT RULES!

April 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the new playground and parking push May Fair to the west side of Ott St. Andrew? What do you think? Sure seems like it.

April 19, 2010 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Thing is, I have heard repeated proclamations from the Mayor and Greg Weitzel that MayFair won't be moving across Ott Street.

To be completely fair, I totally get why MayFair would want to do that.

I do not want them to, heck I don't want them to further compact the soil, and do alot of other environmentally poor things annually.

The park remains a public space and as such, everyone gets a say. MayFair is a good thing for the city, and I am glad it happens.

The citizen and advocate inside me are currently arguing.

So no, I don't believe MayFair plans the move. I wouldn't be surprised if they did though, if not now, than sometime in the future but nothing is on the table that I have heard. To be fair, I probably haven't heard much.

We'll see.

Nothing to worry about at the moment though, at least according to city officials.

April 19, 2010 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention that a move west by MayFair would put them, like much of the blacktop trails, in the middle of a flood plain. Does the citizen in you still think that's a smart plan?

April 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha Ha

You are so late to the party.

Enjoy your asphalt!

YOU could have SPOKEN OUT LOUDLY and STOPPED this before it even got started.

You could have STOOD UP to the bureaucrats A LONG TIME AGO

Instead, you accepted a Mayoral appointment to some worthless committee that will look good on your resume.

April 20, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops.

I forgot to sign my name.

ROLF OELER

Okay - NOW you idiots can spell it wrong properly and blame every anonymous comment you don't like on me like you always do.

Pleasant day.

April 20, 2010 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

O Rolfie,

Aren't you just the brightest person in the world? You are giving the sun a run for its money.

Thanks as always for adding to the conversation in a thoughtful and productive manner. Your observations are always so subtle and thought provoking.

And, for the record, I wasn't appointed by the Mayor. I was appointed by City Council. Before your next bout of verbal diarrhea, get your facts straight.

April 20, 2010 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, who is that Ralf guy? He seems like a REAL putz. Maybe he should have STOOD up to his keyboard and STOPPED typing BEFORE he MADE a fool of himself.

Unintelligent, uninformed. Keep commenting and we'll all keep ignoring your idiocy.

April 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those buffer plantings you recommend would do a lot to improve water quality. I don't see what the hold up is. This is an idea that just makes sense.

April 28, 2010 at 2:46 AM  

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